October 2019: Dark Waters

Last weekend, our Institute hosted a fun book party in a lush Berkeley garden for environmental attorney Rob Bilott’s new book Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer’s Twenty-Year Battle against DuPont. Rob captivated over 100 of our friends and colleagues with his epic tales of defending communities with drinking water contaminated by PFAS, one of the most persistent and harmful classes of chemicals on the planet.…

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Sinister Synergists

Synergist chemicals keep a low profile, but they are a crucial part of flame retardants’ act: Think of them as Teller to flame retardants’ Penn. These little-known compounds don’t slow ignition on their own, but when used in combination with flame retardants, they help delay fire spreading by creating less-flammable chars or quenching chemical reactions. And we use a lot of them: While flame retardants can make up 15% of the weight of some plastic electronics cases, synergists can comprise another 10%.…

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History Highlight: When Superheroes Fought Toxics

The Avengers franchise has stolen the superhero spotlight lately, but not long ago, heroes wore lab coats, not capes. And though it sounds like a comic book weapon, mutagen X was a very real toxic chemical villain. The story of mutagen X—how it was discovered and how it was vanquished—demonstrates the important role of fundamental science in a healthier world. …

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For 10 Years, a Chemical Not EPA Approved Was in Their Drinking Water

November 28, 2018

For 10 years, some residents in Denmark, South Carolina, have been suspicious of the rust-colored water coming from their taps. They’ve been collecting samples in jars and using bottled or spring water, even though the local and state government assured them it was safe.

But through a Freedom of Information Act request and a one-year investigation, CNN has found new information that may cast doubts on those assurances.…

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